2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD Review: The Ultimate Ice Dancing Machine?

2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD
The 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD performs remarkably well at a snow and ice event. Photo: TFLcar

As the only car in its class to offer all-wheel drive, the 2019 Dodge Challenger GT was a very popular choice for journalists. We were invited to join the Rocky Mountain Redline Ice Encounter event in Winter Park, Colorado to sample a wide range of vehicles. The event takes place on a snowy and an ice encrusted lake over two days.

Unfortunately, the 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD only has one engine and one transmission option. You get a 305 horsepower, 3.6-liter Pentastar V6 that makes 268 lbs-feet of torque. While it’s no Hellcat Redeye, the V6 has good off-the-line power and more than enough oomph to put the GT into a power slide on slippery surfaces, even when equipped with snow tires (like our tester was).

The 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD clawing a the ice. Photo: Corey Davis

The eight-speed automatic transmission is the only transmission available for all V6 Challengers. In this case, its paired up with an active transfer case with front axle disconnect. According to Dodge, it’s “an active transfer case with front axle disconnect [that] allows the left and right wheel to spin independently of each other.”

It also completely disconnected the front axle when not needed. This helps with performance, mpg and tail-out ice sliding.

Challenger GT Driving Impressions

The Challenger GT was quite happy to slide merrily when the traction control was switched off. On any other surface, the 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD is a pussycat. It’s comfortable, easy to drive and it is fairly responsive for a two-ton vehicle.

If you’re expecting Mustang GT performance out of this one, forget it. All Challengers are heavy and ponderous by comparison these days. Still, just like this GT, what you give up in maneuverability, you make up for in ride and straight-line power.

While I prefer a manual transmission, the eight speed is very responsive and it doesn’t mind bouncing off the redline when called upon (traction control off) and the paddle shifters are fun to play with. Hell, the entire dash makes you feel like you’re in something special — something fast.

It would be so cool if the GT had a wide-body package, or a manual transmission (not to mention a massive V8). but what it lacks in brute force, it makes top for in character. Let’s face it, the 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD is a lot more fun to hang with over your average crossover. It’s fairly affordable too. The 2019 Dodge Challenger GT AWD starts at $33,295. Fully loaded, the test model came out to $43,260.